I connected with Shane Barefoot after reading a feature on one of his knives in BLADE Magazine. It is an amazing knife made from reclaimed World Trade Center steel and is going to be the subject of a standalone post.
In the mean time, please enjoy this latest installment of “5 from the Grinder”
First, in a few sentences, please introduce yourself and let us know what led you to making/designing knives.
My name is Shane Barefoot and I’m a second generation knife maker in Belton, SC. I strive to produce the best product possible in purpose-built cutlery. If you have a need for a handmade knife for yourself or as a gift, then Id love to speak with you.
Question 1: What knifemaker(s) or designer(s) have had the biggest influence on you? Do you have any mentors?
Probably my dad. I grew up spending time in his shop and traveling to knife shows with him. I got to see the wares of some of the true greats. Aside from dad, I’d say Bob Loveless and Claude Montjoy have had a big influence on my designs. I’m not at their level yet but I strive to improve with each blade
Question 2: What is your favorite knife pattern or style from history?
My all time favorite is the drop point hunter. So many ways to interpret that style and it’s usefulness is endless.
Question 3: What is the next big thing in knifemaking? / What direction do you see the industry going?
I have no idea what the next thing in know in knife making will be. In my experience as a maker, I’ve seen cycles where old school always comes back around. Right now knife making is one of the fastest growing hobbies worldwide. I have also never seen the complacency in what people are willing to accept as a ‘custom’ piece. I think at some point soon we’ll see the demand for old school simplicity and elegance come back around. The days of the shoebox-sized midtechs are numbered.
Question 4: Is there a knife from your lineup that you feel best exhibits who you are as a knifemaker/designer in terms of design elements, aesthetic or techniques used?
It would have to be my ‘Showgirl ‘ model. At the end of the day, it’s a drop point without being a drop point. It has enough of a point to do cutting chores that pointed blades do and just the right amount (in my opinion) of belly and length to accomplish the chores demanded of a blade with those qualities. I usually surface them off to 3/16″, not too heavy, not too light. It can be done in a hollow, flat or saber grind to suit it’s intended purpose. Aside from the functionality, it has (there again, in my opinion) beautiful flowing lines.
Question 5: What is your EDC and why?
My favorite edc is my kiridashi model I call the Trokar. I do it two different ways. 1st is the traditional single sided chisel grind. 2nd is a more ambidextrous double hollow grind. I carry the hollow ground one. I usually start off with 1/4in stock with these and drill the weight out of the handle area. They serve great as work knives, self defense weapons, boxcutters, slice meat and have enough backbone to bust an 8in concrete block. With some detail in finishing they can be very stylish also.